MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: ANDREA A.

“I was working an average of 80 hours per week; grabbing fast food for lunch; eating chocolate cake for dinner; and loads of other terrible health habits.  In 3 years I gained 30+ pounds and wasn’t in the physical condition I expect from myself. Additionally, I was battling a huge amount of stress and it was time to make some changes.”

How did your journey with CrossFit Northland began? How long have you been a member of CrossFit Northland? What brought you into CFN?

I have been in real estate since 2004 but really started focusing on selling real estate at a high level in 2014 when my kids were grown and had graduated high school and moved on to college and tech school.  I am proud of what I have been able to accomplish in business, but it took a toll on my personal health. I was working an average of 80 hours per week; grabbing fast food for lunch; eating chocolate cake for dinner; and loads of other terrible health habits.  In 3 years I gained 30+ pounds and wasn’t in the physical condition I expect from myself. Additionally, I was battling a huge amount of stress and it was time to make some changes.  

My friend Eric suggested I contact David.  Eric’s fiancé, Dani, was going through personal training and he thought it would be good for me.  It took me awhile to finally reach out and set up a meeting, but I’m glad I did. I immediately signed up for personal training 2 days per week and started in the fall of 2017.  Initially I only performed personal training 2 days per week with David but quickly decided I needed to do more on my own. David provided workouts I could perform at the YMCA. I began Personal training 2 days per week, going to spin class, yoga on Wednesday’s with my friend Jamie, and working out on my own.  I was working out 6 days a week on average and some days twice per day. I was seeing good results after 12 months but definitely had a long ways to go.  

 

Tell us about your fitness/health background? (Did you play sports growing up? Try other gym settings? Workout at home?)

I have always been drawn to physical activities of all kinds.  I grew up playing outside from morning until the streetlights came on as most kids that grew up in my era.  I enjoyed bike riding, roller skating, skiing, swimming, volleyball, basketball and sports of all kinds. In high school I played varsity volleyball, basketball and ran track.  As an adult I enjoy swimming, biking, canoeing, boating, skiing, hiking and various outdoor activities. In a nutshell, I like to stay active and enjoy spending time in the outdoors. 

 

At one time you were a personal training client here at CFN and later made the switch to group classes. What made you decide to switch from PT to group classes?

I believe David and I were discussing my 2019 goals and he suggested I might like going to group classes at CFN.  Needless to say I don’t just like group classes. I love them. CFN has a great group of coaches and members. It’s a wonderful way to kick off my day.  I still enjoy personal training with David as he continues to coach me on skills I need to work on. I was obtaining success with personal training but since joining Cross Fit classes I have definitely noticed a huge difference in my performance.  Since joining group classes along with personal training I have made consistent personal records in many of the strength workouts. I have succeeded in my first EVER pull up, handstand push up, rope climb and the list continues. I am continuously amazed at some of the movements I have been able to accomplish.

 

What are some changes you’ve noticed in yourself during your time here at CFN? (Physically, mentally, capabilities, daily life, etc.)

Funnily enough, when I began personal training I was super awkward in my movements.  I categorized myself as super uncoordinated and clumsy. I still trip up the stairs, but that’s just part of who I am.  My mom used to call my “Grace.” I earned that nickname for sure. I wouldn’t say I am uncoordinated now. I still struggle with some of the gymnastics workouts, but I am leaps and bounds apart from where I began.  

 

What kinds of things can you do now that you were not able to do when you first started CrossFit? (inside or outside of the gym)

Crossfit has had a large impact on my physical appearance and performance, but it doesn’t stop there.  I consider myself a student of personal growth and development. I enjoy reading all types of books. It’s during my time with CFN that I have been able to put all of my learning to the test.  David has also provided me a lot of reading material. He’s definitely a kindred soul. My time at CFN has had a large impact on my personal and professional life. It’s almost like the workouts are the key to learning how to handle all of the challenges in life.  I have learned more about balance in the last 2 years than at any time in my life. (By the way… I’m 46. It’s been a loooong journey. LOL!). I have experienced so much that it’s hard not to want everyone I know to have the same experiences; and I’m a little pushy.

 

You recently completed a Corporate Nutrition Challenge with your team and coworkers through CFN. Tell us a little about your experience. Why did you decide to host a Corporate Nutrition Challenge? What kind of success did you and your coworkers experience?

I am the productivity coach for our team and have the honor of coaching my team members to reach all of their goals, both personal and professional.  Many of them have health and fitness goals that they struggle to obtain year after year and I wanted them to reach their goals. I decided to host a corporate nutrition challenge for my office of 18 people.  It was an expense I was willing to pay in order to help my team learn about nutrition and the effects it has on your health. I tend to have super high expectations and wanted everyone to have the same “AHA” experience I had.  We committed to 3 months from August through November. I learned a few valuable lessons. You have to personally decide to commit in order to make changes. It was a good experience overall. We all had some great takeaways that will have lasting affects in our overall health for years to come.  Two of my team members made huge gains and decided to continue with nutrition in order to reach their long term goal. The majority of them learned a lot about healthy eating choices and have continued the habits since the challenge. I would highly recommend nutrition training for those that have struggled with dieting.  

 

Your daughter recently joined CFN. Tell us how that came about. What is like working alongside your daughter?

I am also the proud mother of two grown children, Courtney (23) and Jacob (21).  They are both wonderful human beings and super fun. Courtney knew how much I enjoyed CFN and decided to join as well.  She loves going as much as I do and it’s great watching her learn and grow. She is definitely my kid. Courtney seems to struggle with many of the same things I did from the beginning, but she is determined to learn and succeed.  It’s amazing how you can set a good example for your kids. They watch, learn and repeat. AMAZING!!

 

In your opinion, what is the most valuable aspect of CrossFit Northland?

CrossFit Northland is an amazing community.  I love that every day is a new day and new challenge.  All of us are at different fitness levels but we have the opportunity to grow in many different areas on a daily basis.  The coaches pay attention to the little things and make time for all of us. It feels like the are personally invested in our success.  That is an amazing culture the CrossFit Northland provides that I have never found at another gym.  

 

You’ve accomplished a lot at CFN recently — pull-ups, handstand push-ups, PRS. What do you hope to accomplish in your next 3 months here at CFN?

I’m grateful for everything I have accomplished, but like everything in life there is so much more available to learn and improve.  I’m currently working on improving my form in most of the gymnastics moves as well as increase my personal record in the snatch and power clean.  I’m a work in progress.  

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